Although Leeds’ focus during the summer transfer window seemed to be signing Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion, the Yorkshire club also had a bid rejected for another Brighton defender in Haydon Roberts.
It was reported during the summer that Leeds tabled a second bid of around £800k for the young centre-back, who was also attracting interest from the likes of Brentford, Derby County and Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
However, Brighton were seemingly desperate to keep the teenager at the club and instead loaned him out to League One side Rochdale to aid his development.
Since then, the 18-year-old has demonstrated his quality with the Dale, as in the eight appearances he has made for Brian Barry-Murphy’s side, he has been on the losing side just twice.
This is impressive when you consider that the Greater Manchester club were widely expected to struggle this season, but the signing of Roberts has really added quality to their squad, despite him being just 18-years-old.
The centre-back showed his class in Rochdale’s latest match, earning a 7.26 rating from WhoScored for his display in a 4-0 win against Plymouth Argyle.
Therefore, it is fair to suggest that the Brighton man looks destined for a big future in the Premier League, especially as he has already made three appearances for Graham Potter’s side.
You can understand why the Seagulls manager was keen to keep hold of him, and Roberts could well end up following a similar career path to Ben White, with the 23-year-old having enjoyed loan spells in the lower divisions, before rising to fame with his superb performances at Leeds last season.
If Roberts can continue his excellent form with Rochdale for the rest of the season, his value will only increase further, especially if he can do enough to show Potter that he can be a first-team regular in the Seagulls’ side next season.
Therefore, Marcelo Bielsa may well be frustrated that his director of football Victor Orta was seemingly only willing to bid £800k for the young defender, as it seems likely that he will be worth significantly more than that in the not too distant future.